Airevale United Reformed Churches
In July 2005, Anthony Walker, an 18-
“Unforgiveness makes you a victim and why should I be a victim? Anthony spent his life forgiving. His life stood for peace, love and forgiveness and I brought him up that way. I have to practice what I preach. I don't feel any bitterness towards them really, truly, all I feel is... I feel sad for the family.”
This story illustrates several important aspects of Christian life, a life in which faith provides:-
A rock, a sure support in time of trouble
A means of coming to terms with death
A way to go on living a meaningful life during and after crises
A way to relate to other people, no matter how much harm they have done you
A way to bring up children that will encourage them to make appropriate life choices, have good relationships with other people, to come to terms with crisis situations and to understand the world around them and to encourage similar behaviour and respect in their own children.
Wouldn’t you like to have this kind of faith and to support, and be supported by, like minded people around you? Faith of this depth doesn’t usually come immediately (although it can sometimes). At the URC, we aim to provide an environment in which your faith can grow. We won’t brainwash you or push you into things: most of what happens will come from within yourself. There are just two fundamental rules, given to us by Jesus himself .
Faith and living
As well as coming to church, prayer and Bible reading will help you to build your faith. Prayer is, among other things, a mental discipline by which we organise our thoughts and set out our priorities before God. Bible reading can be a source of both comfort and joy. A well-
We pray that you’ll never have to face an extreme crisis like that suffered by the Walker family. However, there are times when a strong faith can make a vital difference to your life:
Childhood can be a happy, but also bewildering time. Getting to know the world and how we should act towards our family, friends, teachers and others whom we encounter can involve a certain amount of pain and embarrassment, as well as pleasure. Children sometimes have to deal with breakdown in their parents’ relationship and cope with the other relationships their parents may later form. Joining in Christian activities with other children at a church gives a feeling of belonging to a larger family, with friends who can be depended on. It also encourages children to see the world more clearly and to relate confidently and generously to people of different family backgrounds, cultures and faiths.
The teenage years are years of uncertainty, where a whole new adult world beckons.
Wrong decisions can seriously hurt and have long-
Early adulthood is a time of choice -
Parenthood brings some of the greatest joy that you can experience, but with it there are often concerns about the future. What kind of life do I want my child to have? How can I give my child the best chance in life, especially if we’re not well off financially? How can I help my child to develop socially and encourage good behaviour? Having faith and belonging to a church can be like being part of a bigger family, allowing you to mix with parents sharing exactly the same concerns as you have. And, as your children grow up, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that they’re safe among good friends.
Later life can often be a time of ‘crisis’, or at least uncertainty about the future.
Children may now have left home, or you may never have had any. A spouse or partner
may have died, or a relationship may have broken up and you feel increasingly alone,
perhaps even years after the event. Or you may belong to a group largely ignored
in the modern world: those who have never been in a relationship. Work may become
a burden, less interesting and more pressured, or there may be a threat of redeployment
or redundancy. You may suffer health problems, which make it more difficult to live
the way you have in the past. You may be quite successful and comfortable, yet feel
that life has lost meaning. Having faith and attending a church won't stop bad things
from happening, but they’ll make you stronger and more able to cope with them. They’ll
also give your life more meaning. To Christians, sharing a burden doesn’t just mean
offloading your own problems – often, you’ll be able to help others too. You may
be surprised at just how fulfilling that can be. Remember – being a Christian is
just as much about joy as about comfort!
Old age can be a time to reflect on life . . . and death. You may be blessed with
good health and fitness or you may be restricted in some ways, by failing eyesight
or hearing, by difficulty in walking or by more serious illness or disability. You
may be surrounded by caring relatives, or you may find yourself alone. Many older
people find their faith to be a rock-
Can you see two common themes throughout all this? ‘Faith’ – what is within you, and ‘church’, by which you reach out to other Christians and other Christians reach out to you. Faith is about living out Jesus' precepts of loving God and loving your neighbour as yourself; church is about expressing those precepts as part of a group.
Coming to church
One of the differences you will notice about the United Reformed Church from The Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches is there are no Bishops or Archbishops. In this respect, the URC is regarded as a “non-
Some Christians may come to church only occasionally. Many will attend a Sunday service
at church most weeks, quietly and unobtrusively reaffirming their faith. Such people strengthen
their faith, and the faith of the rest of the congregation, simply by being there.
Their contribution is valuable and church life would be very much poorer without
them. Some will attend supplementary prayer and worship activities such as a Prayer
Group. Others may involve themselves directly in the work of the church -
All of these avenues are open to you at the United Reformed Church. You'll be encouraged
to do what you feel called to do, but you won't be pushed into doing things that
you don't have the time or inclination for. If you just want to come to church on
the occasional Sunday, that's fine. If you’d like to involve yourself in the work
of the church, even at a fairly basic level, we’ll be glad of your help. Whatever
your circumstances, we invite you to come along and give us a try. You don't need
to contact anyone before coming -
You don't need to get dressed up. If you're not sure what to wear, dress as you would if you were going shopping in town. What you wear isn't important -
We'd suggest that you come to a Sunday service for your first visit. To see where we are, go to the Coming to Church page for what to expect and our locations. Please don’t be afraid to speak to people. If you haven't already spoken to someone, please speak to the Minister when she greets you on the way out at the end of the service. She'll show you the way to the church hall for light refreshments and will introduce you to members of the congregation. No one will visit your home unless you want us to and we won't phone you unless you ask us to.
We look forward to seeing you!